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Microsoft

Windows 8 Even Less Popular Than Vista 791

New submitter NettiWelho writes with even more bad news for Microsoft. From the article: "Windows 8 uptake has slipped behind Vista's at the same point after its release. Windows 8 online usage share is around 1.6% of all Windows PCs, which is less than the 2.2% share that Windows Vista commanded at the same two-month mark after release. Net Applications monitors operating system usage by recording OS version for around 40,000 sites it monitors for clients. The slowdown for Windows 8 adoption is a bad sign for Microsoft, who experienced great success with the release of Windows 7. Data was measured up to the 22nd of December, so there is still time by the end of the month for Windows 8 to claim a higher percentage of the user base."
Operating Systems

NPD Group Analysts Say Windows 8 Sales Sluggish 269

Nerval's Lobster writes "While Microsoft claims it's sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses in the month since launch—a more rapid pace than Windows 7—new data from research firm The NPD Group suggests that isn't helping sales of actual Windows devices, which, in its estimation, are down 21 percent from last year. Desktops dropped 9 percent year-over-year, while notebooks fell 24 percent. 'After just four weeks on the market, it's still early to place blame on Windows 8 for the ongoing weakness in the PC market,' Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at The NPD Group, wrote in a Nov. 29 statement attached to the data. 'We still have the whole holiday selling season ahead of us, but clearly Windows 8 did not prove to be the impetus for a sales turnaround some had hoped for.'" That seems to match the public grumbling of Acer and Asus about early sales. And though these figures exclude Surface sales, the newly announced prices on for new Windows 8 Pro-equipped Surface tablets might not endear them to anyone. Have you (or has your business?) moved to Windows 8?

Comment Re:I'm still blown away (Score 1) 536

Many People seem to have the same misconception you've perpetuated here, that a reactor can be SCRAM'd just by dropping the rods into it. The fact of the matter is that a reactor has a MASSIVE latent heat of reaction (this doesn't tend to happen as much in military reactors because they are near weapons grade and thus have less radioactive by-products that need to decay). This heat MUST be dissipated or the core will melt. One way to get around this issue is to use a natural circulation reactor. Or to maintain an extra supply of coolent on a gravity feed.

Comment Re:Hopeless situation (Score 1) 61

Sometimes I wish we could mod up beyond 5

The fact of the matter as the parent post makes is that insecure password storage is a far larger issue, many many sites just store the passwords plaintext in a DB. If you're lucky they are bothering to use SHA1 on them first (without a salt). The website owner feeling smart adds salts but is still using SHA1 and a single round of hashing (cracking complexity... trivial). A real smart one decides he's going to use multi-round hashing, and perhaps even a stronger hash or better algorithm designed to be slower HMACSHA512 etc. If you're really really lucky they'll be a professional and use a third party module for authentication that implements PBKDF2/PKCS#5 using a really slow hash.

But lets be honest folks... security is always priority number 2, just like it's Safety Second in a dangerous workplace

Comment Re:X32 (Score 4, Interesting) 95

Actually no it's not... Linux has that already and it works just fine, anyone who has gone through the pain of getting flash player to work before the x64 port can tell you. This is actually more similar (albeit with more restrictions) to setting the /LARGEADDRESSAWARE:NO option on the linker in Visual C++. An option you'll notice that comes with a significant warning about interoperability. Microsoft solved this problem by making pointer handling the developer's job, this meant that they could continue to use x86-64 libraries without an issue but all malloc operations would return addresses that are safe to sign extend.

The benefit on windows is that you:

  1. Use less ram on an x64 bit OS than a corresponding x86 application would, this is because you won't have x64 threads for each x86 thread you have going, and won't have to load the thunking DLLs
  2. In theory could interop with x86 code since your pointers are safe, however this is not supported
Windows

Windows 8: .NET Versus HTML5 Metro App Development 179

An anonymous reader writes "Will Microsoft take advantage of .NET's Java-like CIL and allow .NET code to run on Windows 8, or force developers to switch to HTML5 Metro apps instead for porting apps to Windows 8? This article brings up important insights into both paradigms' advantages and disadvantages, and even correlates the options with Microsoft's past NT-era support of MIPS and PPC, as well as Windows CE's way of supporting embedded architectures."
The Military

Submission + - Some USAF Pilots Refuse to Fly F-22 Raptor

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The LA Times reports that some of the nation's top aviators are refusing to fly the radar-evading F-22 Raptor, a fighter jet with ongoing problems with the oxygen systems that have plagued the fleet for four years. "We are generally aware of a small number of pilots who have expressed reservations about flying the F-22, and each of those cases will be handled individually through established processes," says Maj. Brandon Lingle, an Air Force spokesman. Concern about the safety of the F-22 has grown in recent months as reports about problems with its oxygen systems have offered no clear explanations why there have been 11 incidents in which F-22 pilots reported hypoxia-like symptoms. "Obviously it's a very sensitive thing because we are trying to ensure that the community fully understands all that we're doing to try to get to a solution," says Gen. Mike Hostage, commander of Air Combat Command. Meanwhile Sen. John McCain says that the jets, which the Air Force call the future of American air dominance, are a waste of their $79 billion price tag and serve no role in today's combat environment. "There is no purpose, no mission in Afghanistan or Iraq, unless you believe that al Qaeda is going to have a fleet of aircraft," says McCain, a former combat pilot himself. "[The F-22] has not flown a single combat mission... I don't think the F-22 will ever be seen in the combat it was designed to counter, because that threat is no longer in existence.""
GNU is Not Unix

Is GPL Licensing In Decline? 266

GMGruman writes "Simon Phipps writes, "As Apache licenses proliferate, two warring camps have formed over whether the GPL is or isn't falling out of favor in favor of the Apache License." But as he explores the issues on both sides, he shows how the binary thinking on the issue is misplaced, and that the truth is more nuanced, with Apache License gaining in commercially focused efforts but GPL appearing to increase in software-freedom-oriented efforts. In other words, it depends on the style of open source."

Comment Re:Easy (Score 2) 1091

1 - POSIX. If you want to develop for POSIX, Linux supports this out of the box.

As a developer that is precisely the problem, the only consistent API in Linux is POSIX, and compared to say... WIN32 Core (minwin) that's fine. But as MinWin is essentially just Linux with Busy-box running on it, you have POSIX and nothing else. But as a developer to justify developing for Linux I need a set of rich distribution independent API's that are universal across the entirety of GNU/Linux, and not specific to a particular build of a particular distribution. Without that I'm left chasing distro install numbers to justify what I'm going to develop for or I have to trust that some downstream developer isn't going to screw up my code (See the Debian OpenSSL incident).

So what am I saying? I'm saying that very choice and customization that makes Linux the OS that so many love and cherish is what is preventing desktop development outside the tightly coupled applications that come with the various shells. Fundamentally I don't think that is an issue that can be addressed. Perhaps each shell could agree to make a subsystem to allow their apps to run on the other... (much like QuickTime allows Itunes on Windows) but that would require a lot of development for little payoff so I don't see it happening.

Earth

Little Ice Age: It Was Not the Sun 375

vikingpower writes "The Little Ice Age, lasting from the end of the Middle Age into the 17th century, may very likely have been caused by the combined effects of four major volcanic eruptions and increased sunlight reflection by increasing sea ice, the so-called Albedo effect. ... The University of Boulder has a press release with maps and photographs. Bette Otto-Bliesner, one of the scientists behind the 'volcano + sea ice' thesis, fields an earnest warning against drawing conclusions too quickly from this research: 'I think people might look at the Little Ice Age and think that all we need to save us from rising temperatures are some volcanic eruptions or the geo-engineering equivalent [...] But when you see what happened when global temperatures dropped by just one degree and you look at current predictions of six or seven degree increases for the future, you realize how precarious things are for life as we know it.'"

Comment Re:Treason or not? (Score 1) 582

It's not treason since the Indian government is not an enemy of the United States. Furthermore to be charged with treason there has to be two eye witnesses, "No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court."

More likely someone will get charged under the Espionage Act, which has no such requirements... assuming of course that the US Government was not complicit in this.

I honestly think this is a special case, the Indian Government was essentially threatening to ban them from that market. To the fan bois out there that are touting FOSS as the solution... you might want to go read some of the security blogs before you go and do that. You'll quickly realize that it doesn't matter if the OS manufacturers make backdoors or not. ALL OSs have major security holes, Windows has a codebase stretching back nearly 30 years, as does Linux, I can guarantee that both have bugs that can lead to privilege escalation, some of which can be executed with remarkable reliability, e.g. Stuxnet.

My primary concern here is that this violates the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as giving the Indian Government the backdoor constitutes a bribe.

Comment Re:brb banging head against wall (Score 2) 221

The world was a different place in the early days of NT 4

Arguably true... but only for the monolithic win 9x series releases, which aren't relevant to this topic since the NT kernel was developed independently within Microsoft by Dave Cutler from DEC. It was Microsoft's first truly modern operating system. As many comm enters above me have mentioned NT originally did have functions such as font rendering in userspace due to its heavy hardware abstraction. As the pending issues with 9x loomed however MS could read the writing, on the wall; porting 9x to Unicode (it was ANSI throughout, a separate "Layer for Unicode" had to be used to run Unicode programs on 9x machines) as well as supporting newer hardware (AHCI, USB, true Plug and Play) was going to be nearly impossible (the attempt was called Windows ME). So Microsoft began with NT4 to prep for the mass migration from 9x. Since the average consumer at the time didn't want to drop $3k for a workstation that would be able to run the NT model correctly, Microsoft made some compromises to the OS for the sake of speed.

No, it wasn't. NT4 was released in 1996. By that time, many people here on /. had been exploiting bugs like that for 10 or 20 years already. Granted, mostly for fun or to cheat in (single-player) games, but still...

NT4 already had a security architecture. There was a different place available (basically anywhere outside ring0) and it should have been put there, and it definitely should have been obvious to anyone with three grams of brains that stuff like this doesn't belong into ring0.

You however are making the assumption that everybody in Microsoft talks to each other. A most incorrect assumption. The reality is most likely that WinDiv (The division responsible for the OS) made the assumption that fonts would not be loaded from insecure sources, e.g. Word documents. The Office division however faced the problem of what do you do when some user uses a font that is not on another users system? So they made the decision to allow the embedding of fonts into the file format, along with a bunch of other really bad decisions in hindsight (remember the Melissa virus?) that would have been caught if they had had the same security reviews as WinDiv did. To compound the problem, Office used unpublished and most likely unhardened APIs (it probably still does in parts) that allowed it the capabilities to do things like on the fly font loading something that wasn't exposed to the rest of us until Windows 2000 (NT 5.0). My point being that at the time it WAS a safe decision as far as WinDiv was concerned. Should they have been a little more careful with those unpublished APIs... yes they should have, it would have prevented a lot of anti-trust issues, but they weren't. So here we are with yet another security bug.

Comment According to Sysinternals... (Score 1) 375

Firefox is using:

Image (executables): 95,084K

Mapped File: 56,892K

Sharable Pages: 133,100k

Heap: 25,100K

Stack: 46,080K

Private Data (explicit mallocs): 205,280K

Page Table: 1,372K

Unusable (leftover area of explicitly allocated pages that were LESS than 64K): 9,440K

Only 10M unusable isn't bad on windows... (start inevitable trolling here) as the memory manager only allocates pages in increments on 64k

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